Polo is possibly one of the toughest sports for any tourbillon watch to have to deal with. Sudden turns, wild swings, the clash of horses and riders: these are forces far greater than the norms found in other sports. Known as the ‘King of Sports’ polo is uniquely elegant and highly physical. A perfect testing laboratory.
With horses, every single animal is different. Getting one to run, stop and turn very quickly is very difficult to do. It’s also highly risky. Everything in polo is about perfect timing. If you put too much pressure on the horses you’re breeding at a young age, they won’t perform well later on. On the field, if you make a pass too soon, your teammate won’t connect with it. You have to anticipate, consider things in advance. And, you have to be in the right place at the right time in order to play your best.
This attitude is what has made Pablo Mac Donough one of the planet’s greatest polo players.
Born in Buenos Aires, a fifth-generation Irish Argentine, sport ran though his veins. His great-grandfather James—an Irish immigrant who settled in the pampas in the late 19th century — was a horse aficionado.
When he was just 14 years old Pablo won the Potrillos Cup—the most prestigious youth tournament in the world. Together with some of his family members, he put together his own team : Ellerstina.
Over the course of eight seasons, it won trophies and accolades, including his first Argentine Triple Crown in 2010, becoming #1 in the World Polo Tour Rankings. Pablo went on to win the Triple Crown for a third consecutive time with another team, La Dolfina. No other player in the sport’s history has achieved this feat. December 2018 brought a 10th victory in the Argentine Open. In January 2020, La Dolfina participated in the first World Desert Polo Tournament at the amazing Unesco World Heritage site in AlUla, in Saudi Arabia Kingdom.
Pablo first became part of the Richard Mille family in 2012. This led to the RM 053, the first watch dedicated to polo and designed specifically to withstand the pounding taken by everything involved in an intense match. But the teamwork didn’t stop there. The RM 53-01 is the ‘smashing’ latest result, which has to be one thing and one thing only – ‘polo-proof !’
‘Hard knocks are a regular occurrence. It’s a very elegant game, but also a contact sport. Given that Pablo has sustained a large number of injuries in the course of his career, We came up with a watch that could resist the many types of shocks arising in a match, whilst leaving the movement visible. After the armored case of the RM 053, we introduced on the RM 53-01 a laminated glass, a first in watchmaking.’